It is a busy week for Canada’s ambitious and leading Vertiport and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Infrastructure company, VPorts, with two different press releases in two days.

The first announcement: The company is to create an AAM Mobility Network to connect major regions of Quebec by 2030. The aim is for this network to extend to all major province regions, providing a sustainable transportation solution via eVTOL aircraft.

Dr. Fethi Chebil

Dr. Fethi Chebil, Founder and President of VPorts, commented, “We are excited to build the first vertiport network connecting all Quebec regions, including remote communities that are not adequately served by surface transportation or underserved by aviation.”

He continued, “Similar to heliports, these vertiports will be designed for take-off and landing by eVTOLs. Our initial growth strategy is based on regional transportation of goods and efficient movement of patients, organs for transplants and medical equipment.”

The release states, “VPorts’ Quebec network will focus on locations that optimise multimodal transportation connectivity, including Mirabel Helico, St-Hubert Airport and major agglomerations such as Quebec City, Ottawa- Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Drummondville, Mont-Tremblant, Trois-Rivières, Ste-Marie de Beauce and Rivière-du-Loup, as well as the network of airports in the north region of Québec operated by Transports Québec.”

Dr Chebil explained, “Logically, the first places to set up vertiports are existing helipads and airports. Industrial and commercial areas are also excellent options to consider. We look forward to collaborating with Transport Canada, NAV CANADA, the Government of Quebec and municipal officials on defining safety and security regulations, flight corridors, urban integration and community engagement for this important undertaking that will benefit our communities.’’ Each vertiport is to be equipped with electric charging stations and hydrogen fuel stations for hybrid aircraft.

To create the first vertiport ecosystem in Quebec, VPorts has partnered with other companies including NUAR (integration of air traffic management); UAM Geomatics (geospatial mapping and vertiport network location mapping); Innovitech (stakeholder management strategy focused on social acceptance) and AEdifica (architectural concepts).

According to a socio-economic impact study, VPorts’ AAM infrastructure network could generate USD6.5 billion in economic benefits for Quebec by 2045. The company aims to create over 1,000 high-quality direct jobs in the province and hopes to work closely with local universities and research centres to create the most advanced technology required for its Vertiport Operation Control Centre (VOCC), whilst preparing the next generation of decision-makers, who could help further develop AAM infrastructure in Québec and around the world.

The aim is for VPorts’ VOCC to have a capacity to manage air traffic control integration and set up communication protocols between eVTOLs and vertiports as well as provide “data related to resource management, ensuring an efficient, timely decision-making process for all aircraft taking off from or flying to any vertiport in the network and around the world.”

Incorporating state-of-the-art technology, the VOCC will also enable the company to centralise by having the capacity to manage non-flight-related operations, including cargo, personnel and airside management, commercial activities, security screening, cybersecurity, ground handling and aircraft charging.

The second announcement is even more ambitious, where VPorts aim to create an AAM corridor between Quebec and the U.S.

On Wednesday, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a consortium of international organisations, including Aéro Montréal, Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), Innovitech, the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (Alma) and Helijet International. Initial trials are planned for next year.

Dr Fethi Chebil commented, “These Quebec-U.S. international corridors will contribute to the development, integration, and social acceptability of Advanced Air Mobility.” The second release states, “The aim of the corridors is to build an AAM ecosystem that will provide a platform for full commercial cargo transport operations using eVTOLs.”

It continues, “They will allow the consortium’s members to explore all aspects of AAM, including goods transportation, charging readiness, stakeholder management, business cases, security and safety protocols, social acceptability and urban integration of infrastructure and operations. The initiative could also be replicated in other countries.”

Suzanne Benoît

Suzanne M. Benoît, President of Aéro Montréal, Quebec’s aerospace cluster, remarked, “This project is aligned with Aéro Montréal’s mission of enhancing the Quebec aerospace cluster and positioning it as an international leader.”

The consortium intends to work closely with Transport Canada, NAV CANADA and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All eVTOL manufacturers will have access to the corridors to conduct flight testing.

Background

VPorts aims to build and operate 1,500 vertiports across five continents by 2045. Its infrastructure will be integrated into local and global air mobility ecosystems centralising its operations and leveraging the most advanced technology. VPorts’ head office is located in Mirabel, Quebec.

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(pics: VPorts)